An Interview With Entrepreneur and Singer-Songwriter, ELISE LIEBERTH!
Get to know the Colorado mom, entrepreneur and musician Elise Lieberth! Since emerging onto the Internet music scene over a decade ago, Lieberth has amassed over 10 million Spotify streams, 25K YouTube subscribers, and over 3 million YouTube views.
She recently released her third album of original music called Invincible. Co-written by Elise Lieberth and Rachel James who also produced the songs, the album features 8 original songs of heartbreak, forgiveness, beauty, redemption and being unbreakable.
Having developed a love for singing and performing at a very young age, Lieberth knew that music would be her lifelong passion. Music also became the vehicle that carried her through some of the darkest periods of her life. Determined to never let her circumstances break her spirit, Lieberth poured her pain, fears, and anger into her music. Blessed with her vocal abilities, she forged ahead with her music, singing in various bands. In 2009, she met local musician-turned-YouTube-sensation Tyler Ward, who co-wrote and produced her first album, Letters From Elise, which was released in May 2010.
From 2010-2013, she gained a solid YouTube following and fan-base while releasing over 80 songs, both originals, and covers, along with four albums. Her cover songs “Holding Out For A Hero” and “She Keeps me Warm” peaked at #26 and #43 respectively on the iTunes Singer-songwriter chart. Her “We are the World” collaboration with YouTuber Tyler Ward went viral in 2010, launching her and many artists’ YouTube careers. She released her self-titled original album in 2013, and it quickly climbed to #72 on the iTunes singer-songwriter chart.
She eventually took a break between 2013-2018 to focus on her family. Although she has not released music in nearly 7 years, her cover song “According to You” is still making waves. Just this past August, her version of the song was used in over 100,000 videos on TikTok. When Lieberth’s teenage daughter decided to have her mom make an appearance in her TikTok video, it reached over 1 million views in 4 days!
With her fanbase continuing to skyrocket, Lieberth realized this was a sign that she needed to create more music. Today, Elise Lieberth remains standing stronger than ever.
Learn more about Elise Lieberth in the following All Access interview-
When it comes to your music, what are you most excited for this year? How has 2020 been treating you so far?
There are so many exciting things happening and in the works, it is hard to pick just one! I am beyond thrilled to continue releasing my album one single at a time and I will be sprinkling in covers throughout the year as well – something I have not done since 2013!!! I am looking forward to playing more shows, too!! So far 2020 has been amazing! I played a show at my favorite venue The Soiled Dove in Denver for my album release party in January, and it was a packed house – that was a night I will NEVER forget.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be a musician? What do you think motivates you day in and day out? How has that changed over the years?
Singing was the only thing I was remotely good at or recognized for growing up, so I knew it was something I definitely wanted to pursue in some way, shape or form.
I am very motivated by my family. I want all of the time that I spend away from them at the studio, rehearsing, writing etc, to be worth it. I want to make them proud. I am also motivated by the lives that have been impacted by my story and songs. I want to continue to write songs from an honest, real life perspective, so people know they aren’t alone and know that they can pull themselves out of a dark place and end up somewhere beautiful.
I used to be trapped in the comparison game, with some of the artists that started around the same time I did. Watching their success and wanting their success was what motivated me. It was unhealthy, so I am incredibly grateful that I am in a better headspace and can motivate myself in more meaningful ways.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the kind of music that you make? If not, why is that?
I am from Denver, Colorado and there really isn’t a specific genre or style of music that you listen to and think ‘I bet this artist is from Denver’ – I wouldn’t say that Denver has impacted my music much at all because anything really goes, from pop to funk to folk. But truthfully, I just love music of all genres, I don’t want to be put in a box and confined to a specific sound or genre so I have always just recorded the songs I have written and prayed people liked them come release day!
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Was your family and friends supportive of this career choice? If you weren’t a musician today, could you see yourself doing anything else?
Music was extremely important to me growing up. I dealt with a lot of bullying from kids at school and even my father at times and from age 5 and up I would hide out in my room, turn my stereo up loud and sing my heart out. It always helped numb the pain and writing gave an outlet to express how I was feeling in those moments. I honestly don’t know where I would be in life without music.
My mom has always supported my musical endeavours – when I was little she enrolled me in a children’s production group where I got to perform all over Colorado and when I decided to record my first album she was there the whole time, with whatever I needed, from watching my kids while I was at the studio to sharing my music to everyone she knows. I guess I sang all the time growing up, so my brothers were very annoyed and I got beat up a lot by them – haha!!! But they are ALWAYS front and center of any shows I have these days and I am so thankful for their support!! My dad passed away 5 years ago, he never did express much support with my music, I always wanted him to just acknowledge that I had some kind of talent musically, but that never happened. I have a huge support system that I am truly thankful for. It can be hard not to get hung up on the people that haven’t been supportive but I have been focusing on the ones that have been there and it feels so much better.
I took a break from music for 7 years. During that time I was the most depressed and lost I had ever been. It took awhile to realize that it was because I had stepped away from music and from the thing that truly makes me happy. I can’t imagine not making music in some capacity after going so long without it, but I am an entrepreneur at heart so I will always have my hands in other business ventures as well!
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all? What has been the best part?
I find it crazy that so many people listen to my music, when Spotify does their Spotify Wrapped year in review – I am always blown away! When I see that there are between 15 and 50 people that are listening to my songs on spotify at any given second, it just blows me away. It makes all the hard work and sacrifices I have made worth it to know my music is resonating with so many people.
Being a DIY artist is fun and social media has made it possible for musicians to find success without a label, but it is also extremely challenging and time consuming, social media trends change almost daily, so I am always trying to think outside of the box and researching new ways to get my music out there to new listeners. It’s a really fun challenge though!!
The best part of it all is the messages I receive from people around the world telling me that my song helped them get through a tough time, kept them from taking their life, or was danced to at their wedding. To know my music is so much bigger than me, is really amazing!!!
Let’s talk about your new single, “I Need You.” What was the inspiration for this song? How would you say that it compares with the rest of your brand new album, “Invincible”?
When I co-wrote ‘I Need You’ with Rachel James, I was reflecting on a time in my marriage that I was lost, sad and depressed and it has nothing to do with our relationship. It was about past hurts and pain that were unresolved. I was distancing myself from the person who I needed the most and if you continue to do that, it’s inevitable that you eventually grow apart. I didn’t want that. I knew I needed to seek therapy and work through my past so that I could be in a healthy frame of mind for my husband so that we could look back someday and say ‘that we both stayed’.
‘I Need You’ is a mix of pop and gospel with a hint of country vocal stylings, it definitely doesn’t sound like any song on the album. It is an emotional ballad, which are my favorite kind of songs to sing and write!!! I think it fits in nicely with the rest of the songs because it was such a huge part of my journey to feeling “invincible”.
What was it like making “Invincible” after nearly 7 years away? Did anything surprise about the overall process of making it? What was it like once you got into the studio?
It was surprisingly an easy and what felt like an effortless process. Writing with Rachel James was an incredible honor and I just felt so fortunate to be working with such an amazing talent. She understood me and my visions. She was able to turn my songs into something very special and impactful. Even the songs where I came to her in a more angry state of mind (Forgive and I Did Better) she was able to help me see things from a different perspective and the songs ended up with a much more positive message then they started! HA!!
It was fun working with a new producer, Rachel continually lifted me up with tons of encouragement while we recorded while also giving me constructive advice, and pushing my abilities in ways I was afraid to do. It honestly was a beautiful experience and it reignited my love for writing and recording and I am forever grateful for this experience, from start to finish!
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started making music? What if anything has stayed the same about your music-making process?
I have grown thicker skin that is for sure. When I first started out I was so sensitive and took things so personally. I was constantly triggered and did not feel good enough. The negative comments I would receive on youtube were crippling to me at the time.
I have learned to make music because it makes me happy and that’s it! I have been told several times that I am rare in the way that I write songs. I tend to hear melodies and lyrics just pour out of me. It happens a lot. It’s remembering to take out my voice recorder on my phone, that is the hard part. When I take a song to a producer I literally don’t have any instrumentation, just a voice clip with a melody and the producers build the music around that idea. This is something that has stayed the same and will likely never change.
How do you feel about social media? What do you think social media has done for your career so far?
Oh I totally touched on this a few questions ago, but I will elaborate! I have a love hate relationship with it at the moment. I love that social media allows me to get my music out on so many platforms and without YouTube and Spotify I would not be where I am at musically, so I am extremely grateful! However it is just so time consuming and social media is really starting to take a toll on my mental health. Since it has been so long since I last released music, I forgot how much work goes into releasing new music – especially if you want it to be successful. It’s not as simple as uploading to YouTube and watching what happens, like it used to be. There’s so much strategy and remembering to post on each platform. It’s a blessing and a curse. I am a little bitter at the moment towards social media because I desperately need a break BUT I have songs to release so I can’t!!! I mean I did just take a 7 year break, you’d think I would be rejuvenated. HaHa!
What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
There are a few YouTubers I would love to collab with like Julia Sheer, Megan Nicole and Alex G – to name a few but I would also love to write and perform with my friend Steve Acho, he’s an insanely talented singer/songwriter out of Detroit.
Where would you love to hear a song of yours played?
I am obsessed with the show Dancing with the Stars – it would be a dream come true if someone chose to do a dance to one of my songs!!!
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
All I really want is for people to feel good enough, beautiful, inspired and motivated to make and seek positive changes in their life. I want people to know they aren’t alone and that they are strong.